05 December 2011

Post 454: Divergent

Divergent by Veronica Roth. ISBN: 9780062024022.

Dear YA authors, you write awesome books. But then you throw in abbreviated romances that make no sense. Please stop doing that. You're scaring the readers who aren't ready for that kind of relationship and boring those of us who know that's not how love works.

Moving on.

Divergent was pretty awesome other than the divergence from the plot that I mentioned earlier. The world is set up so that different factions have control over different aspects of society and take on certain human character traits. For instance, Candor is full of (obviously fictional) lawyers who attempt to seek out and tell the truth at all times.

Children are raised in their parents' faction, there are no inter-faction marriages and apparently children outside marriage is not a thing in this series. However, when children turn 16 they are allowed to choose a different faction (if they want), and then everyone under goes an initiation into the faction. Before and after the choosing, you are required to live by the standards of the faction you're in (if you are Candor you take on those traits, and if/when you switch to Abnegation* you would then take on those traits).

I found this aspect of the book more interesting than others, not so much because of the different cultures and expectations, but because humans aren't that simple and I enjoyed seeing how various characters dealt with suppressing other traits in order to fit in with their faction. Most of what we saw was obviously Beatrice/Trice since she was the main character, but even her brother, who seemed to be an archetypal Abnegation, was able to hide aspects of his chosen Erudite faction. Had Roth focused more on how we are conglomerates of these factions and are stronger for having (and recognizing) a mix in every human being, I think the story could have been more interesting as had more depth. As it was, it was a nice diversion from Thanksgiving holiday prep and chaos, but tasted a bit more like fluffy dessert than a full meal, which I suppose is fine if you don't mind empty calories.

I found this book through Eve's post at Vulpes Libris, but agree more with the Jessica's review from Sci-Fi Fan Letter.
LibsNote: Library copy.
*Somebody used the thesaurus.

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